“Christmas Star” Appears for the 1st Time in 800 Years
It happens this month.
2020 has been a really challenging year for most of us and more than ever, we could all use some sort of a Christmas miracle! Now we can't grant any wishes, but we can let you know that a "cosmic Christmas miracle" is coming according to Pop Sugar.
The can't miss up in the sky moment will take place on the December 21st, the winter solstice, and for the first time in almost 800 years the planets of Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely that from down here on Earth, they will look like they collide with each other.
The planets won't collide, but they will cross paths on the Dec 21st to create what star-gazers call a "radiant point of light" which some often call the "Star of Bethlehem" or the "Christmas Star."
Astronomer Patrick Hartigan, from Rice University told Pop Sugar that, ""Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another. You'd have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky."
If you would like to try and get a look at the "Christmas Star", experts say that you should set yourself up outside, looking up to the southwest part of the sky, about 45 minutes after sunset. The star should be visible from anywhere on Earth for about one hour after sunset in the northern hemisphere for the entire fourth week of December.
If you miss this holiday treat, experts say that the next time these two planets will come this close to each other won't happen again until March 15, 2080, so be sure to try and get a look at it.